At a young age, Atlanta native Jeffrey Taylor knew he wanted to design clothing.
"My mom always kept up with the latest trends and I vividly remember her bright church clothes. A member of the congregation taught me how to sew and I kept going with it," said Taylor.
He followed his passion for design to the Savannah College of Art and Design where in 2016 his student collection was among those chosen for the SCAD Fashion Show.
Taylor then became one of six designers nationwide invited to display an emerging designer collection during the Supima Design Competition at New York Fashion Week in September.
The Supima competition offers international runway exposure for top design students by challenging them to create capsule collections of women's eveningwear from luxury cotton fabrics.
Taylor's collection, Tibet Garden, took the grand prize of $10,000 and was on display during Paris Fashion Week which wrapped on Wednesday.
"It’s truly a dream come true," said Taylor. "The real-world career preparation at SCAD is one of the reasons I decided to go to school there. It prepared me for a successful Supima show in New York and in Paris."
Taylor drew inspiration for his evening looks from designers such as Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, who was this year's guest at the SCAD Fashion Show. It gave Taylor the incredible experience of having one of his favorite designers view his collection on the runway.
The idea for Tibet Garden came to Taylor during a trip to New York City when he saw a group of Tibetan women passing by a train station. He translated their colorful attire, heritage and history into a collection of floral eveningwear which represents the transformation the women undergo as they come of age.
“Jeffrey's triumph in this competition affirms his mastery of fashion," said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. "The lyrical lines and deft craftsmanship of his Supima collection deserved an international stage.”
Taylor is the second SCAD student to take top honors in the nine-year-old annual competition. Last year, Kate McKenna, a 2015 graduate, won the grand prize.
As for the future, Taylor says he may start his own line one day, but for now he plans to take time early in his career to learn all that he can about the industry.
"I’d love to work with a few of the designers I’ve had the chance to meet through SCAD and the Supima Design Competition," said Taylor. "I still have a lot to learn and want to make as many connections as possible."